Monday, January 14, 2019

pin cushions

I have been making pin cushions.  The first one I made I followed the directions for one called a skinny pinnie from my sister Amanda's book No Scrap Left Behind.  I made it last Monday, and since then I finished eight more pin cushions.  Once you make a couple, they do go together rather quickly.  The biggest challenge was to thread the needle with invisible thread to sew them closed.   The blue and green one and the pink and gray one are among my favorites.   I liked making these because they really use scraps-of fabric, batting, and interfacing.  It will be fun giving them away to my sewing friends.

Monday, December 31, 2018

books worth reading

This year I finished reading 55 books.  Here are a few that I would recommend reading.

  • Runaway Saint by Lisa Samson-I read this novel for the second time this spring and was glad that I did.
  • The More of Less by Joshua Becker-If you want to live a more intentional life, this is probably for you. 
  • Gentle Ben by Walt Morey-A novel that I will likely read again some day.  Next time I make personalized reading lists for my family, it will be on my nephews' lists.
  • The Rent Collector by Camron Wright-My book club read this one and enjoyed it...lots to think about regarding povety and literacy.  I first read it three years ago and it was worth a second read.
  • Redeeming How We Talk by Ken Wytsma and A. J. Swoboda-Everyone is willing to talk and share opinions.  These authors talk about why what we say is important.  It would make a good book to read with a friend and discuss.
  • Love Lives Here by Maria Goff -If you have read Love Does by Bob Goff, you would likely enjoy this one as well.  Maria and Bob sure make me think a lot more about how to love people well.   
  • Send Down the Rain by Charles Martin -Martin has woven another story worth reading and probably rereading. He does such a great job at creating characters and developing a story that is full of surprises.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Sing a Song of Seasons

Sing a Song of Seasons: A Nature Poem for Each Day of the Year selected by Fiona Waters and illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon is a book any English teacher or poetry lover is sure to enjoy.  Waters selected 365 poems, one for each day of the year.  Some are well-known, others not so much, but it is a fun way to put a little bit of poetry into your day.  Preston-Gannon's illustrations make the book worth looking at over and over again.  If you need a book for your coffee table or someone who likes poetry, this would be a great book to buy.   

Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Tree Lady

The Tree Lady by H. Joseph Hopkins and illustrated by Jill McElmerry is a picture book for adults and children.  This biography tells Kate Sessions' story.  She lived in California in the 1800's and moved to San Diego to teach school.  After two years, she quit teaching and made it her goal to change San Diego from a dirty, dusty town to one filled with trees.  Now that I know about Sessions, I want to go back to San Diego and visit Balboa Park again.  It made me realize a person with the right amount of determination can really make a difference in the world around them.  If you are a fan of Barbara Cooney's book Miss Rumphius, you will enjoy this story, too. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The More of Less


The More of Less by Joshua Becker is a book I came across at the library a couple of weeks ago.  Becker has written the book to help people get rid of things, not simply for the sake of having few possessions, but to allow you to have room for the things that are really important to you.  Becker's journey began when he realized the amount of his belongings caused him to spend time dealing with them instead of spending time with his son.  If you want to live a simpler life, a more intentional life, or just a less stressful life, I suggest you look for this book at your library.  Even if you don't agree with everything he says, you will find some of his suggestions worth doing. 

If you don't have time to read the book, or want to know more about Becker's thoughts on minimalism, you can also look at his blog called Becoming Minimalist.  If you like this book and need other ideas for living lighter, I would also recommend Peter Walsh's book  It's All Too Much.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Great Things to Do Outside


Great Things to Do Outside: 365 Awesome Outdoor Activities by Jamie Ambrose is a book I found at the library.  It is written for children.  Teachers and parents who want to encourage an appreciation of nature would like looking through this book as well.  It is easy to browse, and like all DK books, full of color photographs.  Many of the ideas don't seem new to me, but are reminders of things.  There were a handful of ideas that were new, including the following...

  • 29. Make a bug hotel
  • 49. A balloon pinata
  • 136. Stack a stone tower
  • 301. Make a sundial
  • 327. Build a bivouac